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How to Find Family Support Groups For Addiction and Why You Should

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

March 4, 2019

Helping a friend or loved one with an addiction can be a drawn-out and strenuous process. Not only does the addicted individual find themselves facing a difficult struggle, but those around them must also be ready for the journey ahead. Fortunately, there are a vast number of resources available for families to help cope with the journey ahead of them.

What Kind of Help Is Available?

The struggles families can face when helping a loved one with addiction can vary from moderately stressful to verging on traumatic. Everything from abuse at the hands of the addict to resentment fostered throughout the family can be helped through using available resources. Determined by the level of help needed, there are many groups designed to help you work through the emotional aspect of this process.

Some groups are completely unstructured, run by fellow peers who have experienced the same types of difficulties. Others are more professional and organized, led by therapists, counselors, and other experienced authorities in the mental health field. No matter which you choose, these groups are there to give you an outlet for your feelings.

Group therapy can help those struggling with built up trust issues, depression, anxiety, and any other destructive habits that have come into play while taking care of your sick family member. Such moral and emotional support can improve mood, help the family regain a sense of control, and be informative for those who are just beginning their journey towards healing.

One other thing to consider is that certain groups cater to specific niches, such as children dealing with alcoholic parents or families of specific types of addicts. Others aren’t so focused and allow families of all situations to air their needs and woes. Some gear their meetings towards spouses only, while others are more whole family oriented. Make sure that you do your research on which groups will adequately meet your needs.

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Where Can I Find These Resources?

Many of these helpful resources can be found in your area. Check out local churches and community centers; many have free groups that lend a supportive listening ear and emotional aid. Typically, these are the less structured type, with people who are just like you leading discussion.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or health care provider about possible resources. They are knowledge in this area and may be able to point you in the right direction

If you are having trouble accessing local groups because they either aren’t available or because they don’t fit your specific criteria, then there are always organizations to turn to online. These usually come in the form of discussion forums and blogs. There, people can share their stories and receive feedback from those who are experiencing similar circumstances or from experts in treating addiction.

The two that are most well-known are:

  • Al-Anon – For spouses and family members of alcoholics
  • Nar-Anon – For spouses and family members of drug abusers

Find Help At

Once we’ve helped you find the perfect treatment program for your loved one, it’s time to start thinking about your own needs. When there is a lack of stability and support linking the family together, finding a support group can help reunite loved ones with understanding and caring. Contact us today to help bring the whole family closer to healing.

View Infographic How To Find Family Support Groups For Addiction And Why You Should

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